Open Or Closed? What Really Matters

We ensure that each member is discipled and equipped so that they can one day lead their own small group.

Well…it is Thursday night and the gang is gathering again. Not sure what will happen, things are pretty open and agendas are floating. We are trying to understand what it means to be church right now…right here. There are between 12-16 adults who meet here each week for study, prayer, worship, care, and to dream about reaching others for Jesus. But it is so much more than that. I have this vision that from this group leaders will arise who in a short time will be hosting their own cell group in their home or in the homes of others. How big is this vision? Really big! Huge! It has come all the way from Korea to Bogotá, Columbia to a little town in Central Pennsylvania. I am sure I am not the only person in North America who has this vision. I am sure God is giving it to many other people. It is about cell groups which are what some would call "closed." What this means is that we are going to limit the number of people who can attend this cell (and all others), because we are convinced that the span of care (the number of people who can be discipled, mentored and coached for success) is between 8 and 12. So we have decided to adopt a method from South America (G-12) and keep the group closed, choosing to equip each person in the group to host their own group of 12 as soon as they sense God giving them okay.

Ten years ago, I would have not have suggested this direction.

Successful small groups attract people. Soon what was a small group is a mid-sized or large group. Ten years ago when I was pastoring two rural congregations, I was promoting the divide and conquer method of small groups. (See my book If It Can Happen Here –Abingdon Press, 2002 ) For example…When your group gets to 10, begin planning ...

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